Pennsylvania law criminlaizes the act of carrying a firearm without a license. Essentially, this law criminalizes anyone who carries a concealed firearm without properly being licensed.
Police interactions with individuals are often the basis for motions to suppress evidence. The allegation is generally that the police officer did not have the requisite level of suspicion in order to conduct the type of interaction with an individual that ultimately lead to discovery of incriminating evidence.
Pennsylvania law permits either party to introduce the use of expert testimony during trial, so long as the party complies with the rules of evidence. The party must first assert that an expert is needed to give the type of testimony and evidence sought to be admitted. Stated in other words, a court will only allow the testimony of an expert witness, if the testimony calls for scientific, technical, or other special knowledge, which a laywitness would be unable to testify. Therefore, the party must show that there is an issue at trial that can only be resolved by that expert witness' testimony.
Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence allow a party to confront a witness with that witness's prior inconsistent statements. The purpose of confronting a witness with a prior inconsistent statement is to attack that witness's credibility. Often times this is done when a witness has given statements to the police and preliminary hearing testimony which differs from the witness's trial testimony.
Under Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence, during trial, either party may attack the credibility of any witness with evidence that the witness has been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or false statement. Generally, the conviction or the date of release from confinement, whichever is later, must be within 10 years from the date at which the witness is being impeached.
Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence generally prohibits the admission of what is know as "other bad act" evidence. Other bad act evidence is any evidence that references a bad act in the defendant's past. This evidence does not only apply to convictions or cases where criminal charges were filed, but includes uncharged bad acts as well. The purpose behind this exclusionary rule is to prevent the Commonwealth from admitting evidence to make the accused look like a bad person. In order for the Commonwealth to admit this type of evidence, it has the burden of proving this evidence does not go to show that a person is of bad character, but rather that the evidence can show the defendant's motive, intent, modus operendi, knowledge, or plan. This evidence must be presented to the trial judge during a pre-trial motion. Lastly, admission of this type of evidence leads to the most reversible errors at the Superior Court.